Saturday, September 1, 2012

Huh? Who said that?

Imagine you're walking through the woods minding your own business when suddenly you hear a voice. You turn and no one is there. You hear it again. Still no one. Where is it coming from? Is it in your head? Did you imagine it? Is it the voice of God? No, not this time. You look up into the trees.
There you see a bird perched on a limb. And it appears to be talking to you.

Seems this sort of thing has actually occurred, particularly in Australia. We read an article about it. What is happening is people like to keep birds like Amazon parrots and African greys as pets. They care for them, feed them, and teach them to mimic simple words like "hello", "good-bye", and sometimes other colorful phrases that would not be appropriate to share here. Despite the care these birds may receive some of them manage to escape to freedom.
Once outside they join their wild counterparts and eventually these birds pick up on the words and phrases and start saying them also. In addition to this the offspring of the escaped birds also can learn them. It becomes a part of the flocks "language" and can even be passed on to other parrots or cockatoo flocks. Evenually an entire forest could be alive human language.
So next time you're on a stroll and you hear a strange voice, consider looking up. There just might be a bird up there and it might have something important to say.

Here's a short and humorous video we found on how to train a bird to talk.

Launch video in new window

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's Almost Football Season!!

September 5th is the beginning of the 2012 National Football League season. The 93rd regular season. The time of year when the sale of chips, beer, and universal remote controls skyrocket. 
A time when two complete strangers can talk for hours about who has the best stats and which team will go "all the way".  It is also a time when you can see grown men cry. Ah yes, football season. There's nothing like it.

Do you ever take a break from the action and look around the field at the other sights?  If you did you would of course see coaches and cameramen and cheerleaders but there is another important member of the team that is sometimes neglected and forgotten. Yes that's right. The fearless team mascot.

Every team has one. We particularly like the ones that have a dog as the mascot. It seems like there are a lot of them in college football. That's awesome. But did you know that only one NFL team does. Can you guess which one? If you guessed the New Orlean's Saints then you would be correct. Gumbo the dog is one of two mascots for the team (the other is Sir Saint). He is a "Saint" Bernard and he wears the number 00. Of course he's not a real dog, just someone dressed up in a suit. However at one time their mascot was in fact a real St. Bernard dog and he would roam up and down the sidelines wearing Saints pet gear.

Of course you don't need to play football or own an NFL team to have your own mascot. You can dress your pet up in your favorite team gear. Just in time for kickoff we have some great football gear for your pet. Everything from team bandanas to football play toys.  We even have some very cute college football cheerleader outfits. Head on over to and get them now so you'll be ready when the first whistle blows and the pigskin flies.

Have a great season!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Is your pet the next big star?

It seems there have been numerous movies over the past few years that feature pets. A good pet movie is fun to watch. We are often amazed at how talented the animal is. Perhaps you've looked at your pet and said, "Fido, (or insert your own pets name) you can do all that stuff. Why aren't you an actor?"

Want your dog to be the next Lassie? We've done a little research and found the basics your dog would need to get into acting, whether it be a movie, television show, commercial, or print advertisement.

First and foremost your pet must be well trained in basic obedience skills. These are things like sit, down, stand, stay, come. Most importantly they must be able to perform these while "off-leash", from a distance, and amid distractions. You can imagine how chaotic it can be on a movie set. The director would not be too happy if they had to keep reshooting a scene because your pet was easily distracted or wasn't used to being given direction from several yards away.

A good foundation for these skills can be learned through training provided by organizatione like the American Kennel Club. They have a class called Canine Good Citizenship. Successful completion gives your pet a CGC certification. It is also highly recommended that your pet take additional classes, or receive extensive training to learn additional skills beyond the basics. The more your pet can do, the better your chances of finding an acting job.

Secondly, you should contact a talent agency that works with animals. Unless your neighbor is a film director or the head of an ad agency, finding work for your pet on your own will be very difficult. Leave it to the professionals to represent your dog and find the right opportunity.

Thirdly, patience. You may think you have the cutest dog in the world but that doesn't mean he or she is a shoe-in for an acting role. The expression "it's a dog eat dog world" fittingly applies to the competitive nature of the animal acting business. There is good news though. Often in movies several dogs are hired to play the role of one character. This allows the production crew more flexibility because it is often difficult to find one dog that has all the skills the movie requires, plus using more than one animal makes it easier on the pet as it isn't required to perform in every scene the character is in.

Another fortunate aspect of animal acting is that there usually isn't any specific breed used. As long as your dog has "The Look", it doesn't matter if it is a pure-bred or a mutt. Labs, Golden Retrievers, Chihuahuas, Jack Russell Terriers and Bulldogs have always been popular breeds but there are still plenty of movies, tv shows, commercials, and advertising that use others. Just hang in there. Persistance pays off.

One concern you may have is how safe your pet will be while "on set". Anytime an animal is involved in any kind of production a representative from The American Humane Association Film & Television Unit is there to ensure the safety of the animals.

So if a future in acting is what you see for your pet we wish you all the best. We hope the information we've provided will get you started on the path to fame for your pet.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Does Your Pet Have Pearly Whites?

Were you aware that February is Pet Dental Health Month? Well, it is. Several veterinarian groups have teamed up to make sure that pet owners are educated about the importance of your pets dental care. We want to do our part as well.

Did you know that Periodontal Disease is the most common disease among dogs and cats?
It is mainly caused from a build up of plaque, which creates infection and destroys the gums resulting in the loss of the tissues and bone that support the teeth.

What are some signs that your pet might be suffering from Periodontal Disease?
Look for things like tooth loss, bad breath, going to his or her bowl but not eating or swallows food whole instead, dropping food out of mouth, excessive drooling, yellow/brown crust on teeth, bleeging gums, or subdued behavior.

It is occurs more often in smaller dogs, certain breeds of cats, and older pets. Poor dental hygiene is often the cause but some pets also have a congenital predisposition to dental disease. This is why you should have a dental health plan in place for your pets.

One important step we recommend is brushing the teeth with a toothbrush and specially formulated toothpaste.

Talk to your veterinarian about additional steps you can take to ensure your pet's smile is always a healthy smile.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Do we have any Zuduko Fans?

Happy New Year!!

Warming up this new year with some fun family games. We thought we would start with a Peticular Pals version of Zuduko.
If you complete the challenge, take a photo and email it back to us at, we may just send you another fun surprise :)